News Details

Florida Retirement Community Continues Service Despite Hurricane Irma

Published on Sep 14, 2017

With the recent disasters in the southern United States due to Hurricane Harvey and Irma, many facilities have been forced to work under difficult circumstances.
A professional culinary team from Unidine, a leading foodservice management company that serves senior living and long-term care communities nationwide, spent the last week preparing for and enduring Hurricane Irma at Lakehouse West retirement community in Sarasota, FL.

While the storm was not as damaging in Sarasota as in other areas of Florida, the team, lead by John Killeen, General Manager, and Hunter Hying, CDM, CFPP, prepared for the worst. Nine-hundred gallons of water and food were purchased and delivered in advance. “We ordered the water and food knowing that deliveries would be interrupted. Within our buildings, the facilities team boarded the windows and the executive team kept all residents in a secure area during the storm,” says Hying.

Due to the storm, the facility was out of power for two days. “We lost the exhaust hoods and most of the lighting. Luckily, the cooler and freezer were on a generator. We used chaffing dishes and butane stoves to cook and hold.”

Throughout the storm, Killeen and Hying wanted to maintain a daily routine as much as possible to prevent any concern or fear from the residents. “The less we have to infringe on their ‘normal,’ the better. Change can be difficult. We provided coffee and Danish every morning just like normal, we provided an infused water hydration station every day just like we always do. And we prepared fresh, hot food the entire time the power was out. The dining services team pushed through because we are professionals. If it was our parents or grandparents, we would expect the same thing for them.” 

As of September 13, the Unidine team and the facility are back at 100%. “We have done a modified menu because of prep time over the last few days, but will have a full menu tomorrow.”

Was your facility impacted by the recent disasters? NFEF has created the NFEF Disaster Relief Fund. To see if the NFEF Disaster Relief Fund may be an option for you, please contact your local ANFP chapter.

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